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This question already has an answer here:

The following command

Plot[Exp[-(x^2)], {x, -5, 5}]

draws

enter image description here

while the following command

Plot[Exp[-2 (x^2)], {x, -5, 5}]

draws

enter image description here

I.e. the scale is changing which seems unexpected.

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marked as duplicate by R. M. Jun 24 '13 at 13:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1  
Try PlotRange->All. – Yves Klett Jun 24 '13 at 13:07
1  
"reversed against expected" what do you mean by that? – Vitaliy Kaurov Jun 24 '13 at 13:10
2  
Mathematica is trying to identify a region of interest. Here, compared to your PlotRange the Peak is too narrow and Plot decides to truncate the y-PlotRange. Try Plot[Exp[-2 (x^2)], {x, -3, 3}] instead. – Markus Roellig Jun 24 '13 at 13:22
    
@MarkusRoellig please post an answer with this. – Suzan Cioc Jun 24 '13 at 13:39

Your problem arises from having chosen such a broad x range in your second case. If want to focus on the peak, plot a narrower range around it. For example

Plot[Exp[-2 (x^2)], {x, -3, 3}]

plot.png

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